Friday, October 17, 2014

The Hunting Party, Part 5: Fire and the Knights



Poot led us inside the Lifetime Loser's Lounge and down the hallway to our table. I expected to find Neverwas standing at the end of the table like some faux-general waiting to read us the riot act; finding Little E and Tweedledum flanking him on each side was a surprise. As we sat down he announced, "I'm going to be giving you all one last chance to resend your actions in killing the tavern before I shift your alignments for killing an innocent life."

Poot's head tilted to the side as Icarus spoke, "I don't understand why you would shift our alignments?"

Before Neverwas could respond Poot raised his hand up and said, "Hold on. You said we took an innocent life? As in one?"

"Well," Neverwas began, "what I meant to say was that you took innocent lives."

"How many," Poot asked with a smile, "or is this one of those occasions when you're going to start shifting the goalpost so you can declare a minor victory?"

Twedledum stifled a laugh as he sat down, "Tell them, Neverwas, how many innocent lives are we talking about here?"

It doesn't matter, I interrupted, because there were no innocents in that tavern. Neverwas stared at me from across the table with his mouth hanging slightly askew. I tested them by the articles of our faith and they were clearly non-believing sinners.

"So you killed them all," Little E finished for me. "Surely you can't be arguing that slaughtering all those people would be excused by any good faith?"

I stared back at Neverwas as Step answered for me, "We're all Christians in here?"

"Yeah," Neverwas said after a slight pause.

"Christianity is a good faith, right?"

"Yes," Neverwas said with obvious confusion playing across his face.

"Well, if history can be believed, then Christianity has killed untold millions of non-believers because their faith in other gods was a sin."

"Check and mother fucking mate," Tweedledum said as he slapped his hands together. "I told you that you wouldn't be able to get them on that one."

Neverwas shot him a look, "I'm not trying to get them."

Then stop with the empty threats and let's get on with the game, I said.

As the game picked back up it became clear that Little E and Tweedledum were there to help Neverwas deal with us. While they weren't technically secondary Dungeon Masters their opinions carried enough weight with Neverwas that they were able to cause him to rule against our initial plans to escape through the basement. They smiled proudly each time that they were able to find some fault in our logic.

After half an hour of this Poot looked over at me and whispered, "Okay, now how do we deal with three Dungeon Masters?"

The Master Planner slid a note over to Poot and said, "By playing smarter."

The Master Planner, Step, Icarus, and I threw all the dead bodies down into the basement as Little Boy and Poot took the ladder from the library to the roof and made a bridge over to the next building. The basement crew poured liquor over the bodies and everyone else headed upstairs as I started making a show of praying for the poor, misbegotten bastards we'd put to the sword when Neverwas broke in. "Someone's trying to get in the front door."

When it rains it pours, I said as I lit the basement on fire, and yet there's never a drop to drink.

"What?"

I'm heading up the stairs and to the roof.

"Fine," he said with that snide smile playing across his face again. Then the doors broke. I say broke but really it should be: they blew off the fucking hinges as more than two dozen knights charged into the lobby. "They see you."

Oh thank god, I said as I moved my figure up to the roof, I was afraid that we might not have a deus ex machina moment in this game. Poot pulled up the rope we were using to climb to the roof and we raced across the bridge with our fates in the d20s we tossed into the center of the table.

Everyone made it safe across and Neverwas gave an evil grin as he said, "The knights have made it to the roof."

"Good," Little Boy said, "I'm going to toss my torch onto their roof."

"Okay," Neverwas said as Little E slapped his forehead.

"So are they on fire," Little Boy asked.

"What?"

"He drenched the roof in oil," E said into his hands. "The whole damned thing should be on fire."

"That's fine," Neverwas said with a shrug, "they race across the ladder."

"Excellent," Icarus said. "I kick it off the edge of the roof." Neverwas stared at him as Tweedledum guffawed.

"I think we should end it here," Neverwas said quietly.

"That's fine," Step said, "but first we need to know if all the knights die from the fall."

"Yeah, they die," he said.

So did we level?

Feel like you're missing something?
Part 5: Fire and the Knights

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